MEECA closed out another busy year by presenting to the Michigan House Energy Committee on December 4, 2019. Executive Director David Gard was joined by four member companies to educate lawmakers about the benefits of saving energy by installing efficiency measures to buildings and equipment. This opportunity to interact with policymakers came at the invitation of Rep. Greg Markkanen who represents the 110th District in the Western U.P.
The committee heard formal presentations from Mr. Gard, Alex Van Rijn with home performance contractor Building Performance Solutions, Shelley Sullivan with commercial contractor Energy Sciences, Mary Templeton with Michigan Saves, and Bali Kumar with Lean & Green Michigan. MEECA’s experts helped legislators understand the value of Michigan’s energy waste reduction (EWR) programs which return $3.50 for every dollar spent. The panel also described the skilled professionals behind all the savings—in particular, the contractors who build and improve structures of all kinds and employ thousands of people across Michigan.
During their formal remarks, the panel highlighted three challenges faced by Michigan’s efficiency industry: (1) Workforce constraints; (2) Providing more access to financial capital; and (3) Increasing the awareness about the benefits and availability of efficiency products and services. In the discussion that followed, committee members voiced strong interest in working with MEECA on these and other issues, especially the need to find and retain properly trained people. As a result, MEECA has a full agenda to pursue with policymakers on behalf of our members in 2020.